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Possible Impacts Of Untreated Infections

Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea: An Urgent Public Health Issue

While some people may have a chlamydia or gonorrhea infection without knowing it, it won’t go away without being treated. Some of the long-term impacts of the two infections are similar.

Among other health concerns, some of the possible conditions that can occur if either infection is left untreated include:

  • Pregnancy concerns, including preterm birth, in the case of chlamydia
  • Inflammation or scarring in the genital area
  • Arthritis that is associated with swelling in the joints and can spread to other parts the body

Where Can I Get A Test

There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.

A chlamydia test can be done at:

  • a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
  • your general practice
  • contraception and young peoples clinics
  • some pharmacies.

Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.

In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.

The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .

If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.

In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk

Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.

What Is The Outlook For People With Gonorrhea

People who get prompt treatment and follow treatment instructions carefully can resume their normal lives. Untreated gonorrhea can cause several long-term health problems. Gonorrhea can even be life-threatening without proper care.

Complications in women

In people assigned female at birth, untreated gonorrhea can:

  • Spread to other reproductive organs, including your uterus and fallopian tubes, and cause pelvic inflammatory disease. PID can cause infertility and ectopic pregnancies, which can be life-threatening to the mother and the baby.
  • Cause eye problems in infants born to untreated birthing parents, leading to blindness.
  • Spread to other body parts, causing swollen and painful joints, liver inflammation, and heart valve and brain damage.

Complications in men

  • Inflammation of the testicles.
  • Prostate pain and inflammation.
  • Other problems if it spreads throughout the body, including swollen and painful joints, liver inflammation, and heart valve and brain damage.

Recommended Reading: How Long To Know If You Have Chlamydia

Why Is This Medication Prescribed

Ceftriaxone injection is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria such as gonorrhea , pelvic inflammatory disease , meningitis , and infections of the lungs, ears, skin, urinary tract, blood, bones, joints, and abdomen. Ceftriaxone injection is also sometimes given before certain types of surgery to prevent infections that may develop after the operation. Ceftriaxone injection is in a class of medications called cephalosporin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria.

Antibiotics such as ceftriaxone injection will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.

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Causes and Risk Factors of Chlamydia

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What Happens If You Dont Get Treated For Gonorrhea

Even though gonorrhea is common and doesnt always cause symptoms, it can become a big deal if its not treated.

Gonorrhea can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID might not have any symptoms at first, but it can cause permanent damage that may lead to chronic pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. Getting tested for gonorrhea really lowers your chances of getting PID.

Having gonorrhea also increases your chances of getting or spreading HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Rarely, untreated gonorrhea may spread to your blood, skin, heart, or joints and lead to serious health problems, or even death.

If you have gonorrhea while youre pregnant and dont treat it, it can be passed to your baby when youre giving birth. This can lead to problems for the baby, including blindness, joint infections, or blood infections which can be deadly.

The best way to avoid all these problems? Get tested and treated early.

Male Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia

Men can also experience complications when chlamydia is left untreated. The epididymis the tube that holds the testicles in place may become inflamed, causing pain. This is known as epididymitis.

The infection can also spread to the prostate gland, causing a fever, painful intercourse, and discomfort in the lower back. Another possible complication is male chlamydial urethritis.

These are just some of the most common complications of untreated chlamydia, which is why its important to get medical attention right away. Most people who get treatment quickly have no long-term medical problems.

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Whats The Treatment For Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is usually super easy to get rid of. Your nurse or doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Some strains of gonorrhea resist the antibiotics and are hard to treat, so your doctor may give you two antibiotics, in shot and pill form. Sometimes you only have to take one pill. Other gonorrhea pill treatments are taken for 7 days. Your doctor will help you figure out which treatment is best for you.

If youre treated for gonorrhea, its really important for your sexual partners to get treated also. Otherwise, you may pass the infection back and forth, or to other people. Sometimes your doctor will give you medicine for both you and your partner.

In Pregnancy And Newborns

Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea: An Urgent Public Health Issue Audio Description

If you are diagnosed with gonorrhea during pregnancy, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent passing the infection to your unborn baby.

The treatment is no different than that of non-pregnant women and of no harm to your baby.

Whether you have been treated for gonorrhea or not, an antibiotic ointment will be applied to the baby’s eyes at birth to prevent ophthalmia neonatorum, a gonorrheal eye infection transmitted to the baby as it passes through the birth canal. The ointment is routinely given to all newborns as a precautionary measure.

On the other hand, if you have not been treated or were diagnosed late, your baby will be given additional antibiotics whether there are symptoms or not. Doing so may clear the infection and prevent such complication as vaginitis, urethritis, respiratory infections, and DGI.

The treatment will be directed by the disease complications and the weight of the newborn in kilograms.

Condition

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Which Antibiotic Is Best For Gonorrhea

Per CDC recommendations, many doctors prescribe dual therapy, including an injection of ceftriaxone, plus a tablet of either azithromycin or a treatment course of doxycycline. The CDC recommends a single dose of azithromycin, which has been shown to be effective. Only your doctor can determine which antibiotic is best for you based on your medical history and condition.

What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia

If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe oral antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or taking doxycycline twice daily for 7 to 14 days are the most common treatments and are the same for those with or without HIV.

With treatment, the infection should clear up in about a week. Do not have sex for at least 7 days until you have taken all of your medication, and do not stop taking the antibiotics even if you feel better.

Your doctor will also recommend that your partner be treated as well to prevent reinfection and further spread of the disease.

Women with serious infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, may require a longer course of antibiotics or hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics. Some severe pelvic infections may require surgery in addition to antibiotic therapy.

Make sure you get retested after three months to be certain the infection is gone. Do this even if your partner has been treated and appears to be infection free.

Also Check: Other Ways To Catch Chlamydia

Chlamydia Treatment And Prevention

Milly DawsonSanjai Sinha, MDShutterstock

Chlamydia is easy to cure. If you test positive for chlamydia, basically you take an antibiotic, says Jill Rabin, MD, cochief in the division of ambulatory care for women’s health programs and prenatal care assistance program services for Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.

Your partner must take an antibiotic, too, to keep them from reinfecting you, she says.

You have to have your partner treated, and if you have more than one partner, they should all be treated, says Dr. Rabin, regardless of your partners genders.

Even if you dont have chlamydia now, its wise to learn how to protect yourself so you wont develop this common infection in the first place. In women, chlamydia can create serious health problems, including infertility. Besides, no one ever wants to have a sexually transmitted disease and then have to tell other people about it.

What Can You Do To Relieve Your Symptoms

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No home remedy for chlamydia can replace antibiotics. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, so you need to take antibiotics to cure it.

However, there are a few ways you can soothe symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to get to work. For example:

  • Use pain medications, such as ibuprofen to reduce pain
  • Use a cold pack to soothe inflammation.
  • A herb called goldenseal might reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
  • Use an echinacea supplement aid your immune system.

Remember that these home remedies might soothe the symptoms of chlamydia, but they dont actually cure chlamydia in itself. The best way to soothe the symptoms is to use antibiotics.

Recommended Reading: If I Have Chlamydia Does That Mean I Have Hiv

How Do I Know If I Have Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea often has no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems, even without symptoms.

Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Symptoms in women can include:

  • Painful or burning sensation when peeing
  • Increased vaginal discharge and

Men who do have symptoms may have:

  • A burning sensation when peeing
  • Painful or swollen testicles .

Rectal infections may either cause no symptoms or cause symptoms in both men and women that may include:

So What Is The Best Treatment For Chlamydia

Current guidance from both the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, state that doxycycline is the preferred and first-line treatment for chlamydia. This is due to antibiotic resistance, as research has shown that chlamydia responds better to doxycycline. Azithromycin should be used where doxycycline is not safe to be prescribed, and for patients who may experience difficulty in sticking to a one-week regime. To find out more information, you can visit our chlamydia FAQâs.

Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Read Also: How To Cure Chlamydia Without A Doctor

How To Prevent Gonorrhea

Here are some ways you can prevent gonorrhea:

  • Abstain from sexual intercourse
  • Engage in sexual activities only with partners that have tested negative for the infection
  • If you are sexually active, get tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases and infections so they can be treated and prevent spreading to sexual partners

Due to increased exposure, you are at increased risk of contracting the infection if you participate in unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Just Diagnosed Next Steps After Testing Positive For Gonorrhea Or Chlamydia

Gonorrhea

If youve just found out that you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, you may be trying to figure out what to do next. Here are the three most important steps that you can take:

WHY?Many people with gonorrhea and chlamydia dont have symptoms. Why does this matter? Because an untreated infection can lead to serious and permanent health problems, even if you never have symptoms. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be cured with the right medicine from your doctor. Just make sure you take all of your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to.

WHERE?Your regular doctor can prescribe antibiotics to cure the STD. But if you dont have insurance or want to see someone else for treatment, there are other low-cost or free options. You can get tested and treated at your local health departments STD clinic, a family planning clinic, a student health center, or an urgent care clinic. You can also find a clinic using GetTested and ask if they offer treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.

  • In women, untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to health problems like ectopic pregnancy or infertility .
  • In men, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may prevent him from being able to have children.
  • Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV the virus that causes AIDS.

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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication

Your healthcare provider will tell you how to store your medication. Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand how to store your medication properly.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

Does Chlamydia Cause Cervical Cancer

No, chlamydia doesnt cause cervical cancer.

Its possible to get a sexually transmitted infection by having sex with someone who has an STI, even if they have no symptoms.

The following measures will help protect you from most STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV.

If you have an STI, theyll also help prevent you from passing it on to someone:

  • Avoid sharing sex toys. If you do share them, wash them or cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.

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Am I At Risk For Gonorrhea

If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider. Ask them if you should get tested for gonorrhea or other STDs. If you are a sexually active gay or bisexual man, you should get tested for gonorrhea every year. If you are a sexually active woman, you should get tested for gonorrhea every year if you are:

  • Younger than 25 years.
  • 25 years and older with risk factors, such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.

How Should This Medicine Be Used

Pharmaceutical Injection

Ceftriaxone injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid, or as a premixed product, to be injected intravenously over a period of 30 or 60 minutes.Ceftriaxone injection can also be given intramuscularly . It is sometimes given as a single dose and sometimes given once or twice a day for 4-14 days, depending on the type of infection being treated.

You may receive ceftriaxone injection in a hospital or doctor’s office, or you may administer the medication at home. If you will be receiving ceftriaxone injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to use the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

You should begin to feel better during the first few days of your treatment with ceftriaxone injection. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.

If you will be using more than one dose of ceftriaxone injection, use the medication until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using ceftriaxone injection too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.

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When Should I Call My Doctor About A Chlamydia Test

A note from Cleveland Clinic

A chlamydia test is essential to limiting the spread of this sexually transmitted infection. Its especially important to get screened for chlamydia regularly if youre at a higher risk of this STI. Untreated, the infection can cause health problems and you can spread it to your partner. While youre waiting for results and during treatment, avoid having sex. Wait until your provider says its safe to have sex again. Be sure to use a condom and practice safe sex to avoid getting an STI.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/28/2022.

References

Recommended Reading: Doxycycline For Gonorrhea And Chlamydia

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